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Recent Articles by Brian

Does your data product enable surgery, or healing?

By Brian O'Neill

I recently started playing percussion in a new Celtic ensemble in Boston called Ishna, and we were recently invited to be a guest artist with Symphony NH (New Hampshire). After our concerts concluded, the executive director invited Ishna to a … Read moreDoes your data product enable surgery, or healing?

Reasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

By Brian O'Neill

Good design happens at the intersection of discovering real user needs/wants and business goals that are ACTIONABLE (by design and engineering). Yes, there’s a little magic/instinct that creeps into good design too, but you can get far without a lot … Read moreReasons your next sprint, product, or project might fail

The difference between design and Design

By Brian O'Neill

I am guessing if you’re reading this, it’s because there’s room for your analytics service or data product to get better, and maybe you know that simply adding more data sources, algorithms, bug fixes, or [insert today’s hype cycle tech], … Read moreThe difference between design and Design

Design KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

By Brian O'Neill

I know to a lot of software teams, getting features/fixes/releases out the door feels like improvement. However, did you actually create or improve the value of your service? To to that, you have to understand what your users actually value, … Read moreDesign KPIs – what improvement did you celebrate in your last analytics software release?

Dashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

By Brian O'Neill

Should maximum simplicity dictate success? We all love usability these days right? “User experience is important.” Of course it is! But, it doesn’t mean that every user you show the design to is going to, or should immediately be able … Read moreDashboard Design: Is Maximum Simplicity the Goal?

From a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

By Brian O'Neill

So a guy walks into a bar and starts talking about unsupervised learning… Ok, not quite. Well actually, where I live in Cambridge, MA, that’s not really so improbable 😉 I found this article on Medium interesting, written by a data scientist … Read moreFrom a data scientist on Medium: “It’s easy to not understand your customer’s needs.”

It’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

By Brian O'Neill

Some of you probably know by now that I’m also a musician, and this includes composing for my instrumental jazz/chamber music quintet. What does this have to do with translation of your data? When I talk about data in on … Read moreIt’s the translation that makes your data sing – what song are you singing?

How to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

By Brian O'Neill

Readers of DFA know that I’m big on not immediately giving customers what they asked for, and instead asking the question “why” to learn what the real latent customer needs are. And for you internal analytics folks, remember your employees, … Read moreHow to solicit *real* needs from users via UX research interviews

The Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design

By Brian O'Neill

Ok, you probably know this one, but let’s dig in a little farther. I recently started to explore using the TORBrowser when surfing on public wi-fi for more security (later finding out that using a VPN, and not TOR, is … Read moreThe Easiest Way to Simplify Your Product or Solution’s Design